BLF/Sidecars/LED Sidecars?

I have a friend w/ an ESI phone system now (proprietary). The phones are kind of nice, as they have an extensive BLF (Busy Lamp Field) with 30 buttons built into them. You have to print a template, which always seems like a pain.

Are there any SIP phones on the market with large BLF’s built in? That are compatible w/ Free-PBX and Endpoint Manager?

I have been using the Aastra 9143i’s, and I like them. But they really only have seven programmable buttons, and require template printing. So for an organization with (for example) fifteen employees and some turnover, they would suffer a bit in terms of convenience. Being able to see who is on their phone and transfer with a single button press would be kind of nice.

I’ve looked at Snom, they have twelve buttons on the 320, still require a printed template.

Some phones like newer Aastra and Cisco (Linksys?) appear to have all digital displays, how do they handle BLF? I see some have sidecars with LCD displays, will Endpoint program names onto the displays?

Sorry for the basic questions. I’d order one of everything and test them, but figured this would be faster, and more affordable. :slight_smile:

The new range of Digium phones includes one with LCD BLFs down the side. Haven’t had chance to look at one yet but the idea seems nice. They’re a bit pricey though.

Forgot to add;

Aastra models such as the 6757i have LCD buttons that can be programmed as BLFs. I’ve used these in the past with the Aastra scripts and they work well. I use the upper half of the display (6 buttons) as BLF keys but unfortunately you’re limited to 5 BLFs per ‘page’, the 6th button is always reserved as ‘More’ to get to the next page. If your users need more than 5 BLFs you do then lose the ability to see at a glance the state of all configured BLFs.

It also looks like development on the scripts may have been halted. I think I’ve seen comments about that either on here on on the pbxinaflash forums.


Thanks. Those Digium phones look pretty nice, I hadn’t seen those.

One of the Talkswitch phones look sort of similar.

I saw the new Digium phones at the Miami Expo show, pretty cool you can store 100 contacts on the phone and as you move left & right you get another panel of contacts. Each time you switch lists of users the associated button becomes the active BLF.

This Cisco 500s side car ( 32 buttons ) works great and is already supported within EPM. That of course has to piggy back off of a Cisco 5xx series phone.

If you want to get those other phones programmed, assuming it’s possible you can put some money into it in order to get it programmed.

Without a doubt if you have enough users it’s worth every penny, but if you only have a couple of phones I would configure one, test it and when it’s perfect duplicate the config.

These Digiums are not supported yet in EPM.